Review of Rails Girls Summer of Code 2015 by Team Melbourne

Posted on by Vi and Sarah

Categories: blog and student posts


We’re Vi & Sarah. We’re the team that makes up Team Melbourne, the first Australian sponsored team to participate in Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Image: Team Melbourne

From July to September 2015, we created an advertising plugin for Discourse that supports Adsense, DoubleClick for Publishers and Amazon Affiliates. This was our first ever contribution to open source.

In the podcast below we interview each other and talk about our experience in Rails Girls Summer of Code (Q&A Format with 5 questions each. Duration: 13 minutes).

Official Link to the Podcast on Soundcloud & Podcast Transcription on Team Melbourne’s Blog.

Don’t have 13 minutes to listen to the podcast? Below we’ve summarized the skills that we’ve gained over three past three months in 8 dot points:

  • Javascript: Prior to the program, we completed Codeacademy’s Javascript course and read Eloquent Javascript. The challenge came with picking up Ember.js from scratch. It took a while for us to get our heads around Routes, Views and Templates!

  • Google Doubleclick for Publishers: We had to create code that supported both Adsense and DoubleClick for Publishers in harmony. One key feature of DFP is custom targeting, where we built an infinitely increasing user input box that supported multiple keys and values.

  • Amazon Affiliates: This was an additional feature in the last 3 weeks of the project. We found out about Banner and Product Link Amazon Ads, and managed to build support features in the plugin.

  • Git: With multiple contributors, we quickly learnt the ins and outs of managing a full project and to ensure that it was in sync. We learnt about symlinks, submodules and more…

  • Mobile Testing: We learned how to deploy Discourse to a live site (Docker) in order to test mobile ad features.

  • Pair Programming: This allowed us to discuss features and programming approaches in an effective and engaging manner every day. It’s a great approach!

  • Asynchronous Loading: With Ember.js, advertisements would time-out without a page refresh. We fixed this and the tough part was ensuring ads would work with Discourse’s asynchronous logic.

  • Productivity Platforms: Our amazing coaches introduced us to Slack, Trello, and Daily Stand-Ups. These were effective tools in making sure the project continued to stay on track!

Image: Team Melbourne

Exciting News: Vi’s business that provides tutoring for selective school and scholarship tests is sponsoring for 2016 Rails Girls Summer of Code.

We’d like to thank Rails Girls for giving us the opportunity, Redbubble for being our coaching company and for building something amazing!

Image: Team Melbourne

Start using our Advertising Plugin! Follow us on Twitter. Read about our journey on the Team Blog.